The Conclusion - Failure Rate Of 45% - Thermalright And MSI/Watercool Recommended
It is truly remarkable how much junk is sold in hardware stores these days, and how badly customers are sometimes deceived. Any specifications quoted on the boxes should be taken with more than just a pinch of salt, as they very rarely coincided with our findings in the lab. After all, you can't tell a cooler's performance or noise level simply by unpacking it and looking at it closely. It is therefore highly inadvisable to buy a cooler without having read at least one independent review of it, if you care about getting good results. The sobering balance of the first part of our test covering more than 80 CPU coolers is this: 45% of the products tested here either fail the tests or simply aren't worth their price.
We must emphasize that the width, length and number of heatpipes alone is not a good indication of a product's cooling performance. Just as important, if not more so, is the composition of the gas inside the heatpipes, and the cooling configuration used to dissipate the heat into the surrounding space.
Thermalright offers a very good solution with the IFX-14, a model that provides very good cooling performance Compare Prices on CPU Coolers. Even with all four cores of the quad-core processor under full load, core temperature reached only 62°C. Paired with the Scythe SY1225SL12M fan, the cooler is all but silent in operation. As a result, it receives our recommendation.
We were also especially impressed with the water cooling solution presented by MSI and Watercool. Installing the HydroGen/HT Fusion Dual is extremely easy, and the cooler is ready for use as soon as the reservoir is filled. There are no problems getting the system started, as water flows through the system instantly, and the cooling unit can either be placed on top of your computer case or on the floor. Additionally, the cooler can be monitored through a standard fan header on the motherboard good cooling performance win it our second recommendation.
We were disappointed by manufacturers Scythe, Silverstone, Zerotherm and Zaward. Their products failed the test due to insufficient cooling performance, inferior build quality or an ill-conceived installation procedure.